Friday, January 02, 2009

Improving choice by bans

Councillor Clyde Loakes, Labour leader of Waltham Forest council and big, fat, fucking hypocrite.

Via The Englishman (from whom I also pinched the title), it seems that the state is renewing its fight against obesity.
Local authorities are resorting to more aggressive policies to combat junk food in schools amid signs that government efforts to combat childhood obesity are failing.

As are, apparently, government efforts to combat councillor obesity.

Anyway, why is the state so bothered about childhood obesity anyway? Surely it is a good thing if people die young since, despite its promises and the 23.8% taken from our salaries, the state can't afford to pay for our old age anyway.
A London council is to become the first in the country to ban new fast-food outlets from opening within 400 metres of schools, parks and other places where young people gather.

Oh, for fuck's sake...
Waltham Forest council, in East London, aims to limit the number of fast-food outlets that can be opened in town centres and shopping parades, and to restrict their opening hours.

Clyde Loakes, leader of the council, said: “We have too many fast-food outlets in this borough and we've had enough.

Who's this "we", pale-face? Obviously your residents don't think that you have too many fast-food outlets because otherwise you wouldn't have so many fast-food outlets.

What's that? Why? Because, Counciller Loakes, if people didn't want fast-food outlets, they wouldn't buy stuff from said outlets and thus you wouldn't have so many. Do you see?
We don't want to tell people how to live their lives—...

Oh right. What's the next cliche that you're going to wheel out, you fucking tit: "this hurts me more than it hurts you"?
... but at the moment residents simply don't have enough choice because of the amount of fast-food takeaways.”

Hang on, Councillor: what you are saying is that all of these fast-food outlets are crowding out shops selling healthier food, and so young people are actually unable to choose a healthy option: is that right?

So, when they are given a healthy option, what happens?
Research suggests that the Government is failing in one of its key battles against obesity, with children bingeing on junk food even when healthy options are the only item on menus.

So, you are going to close down fast-food outlets and replace them with... what? Nothing? Will there be derelict shop fronts? Will newsagents be allowed to open there, but not allowed to sell chocolate?

Let us say that it is your wish that healthy food shops open there: who the fuck is going to buy stuff from them? Or will we see wonderful, state-subsidised health-food shops? And will their results be as wonderful as the latest tractor statistics...?

Seriously, what the fuck is going on in this country?


Shug Niggurath said...

We don't want to tell people how to live their lives, we just want them to do what we tell them.

Anonymous said...

the problem is that this policy appears stupid and ill thought out only if you accept the council's aim to be what they claim it to be, ie to combat obesity. if you take their aim to be to visibly assert their authority over the public(and the market), it is actually quite clever.

Tristan said...

Loakes is one of the worst New Labour career politicians I've come across.
At least his predecessor had the honesty to be an Old Labour thug...

I must say it was rather amusing when his career path of taking over from Harry Cohen as MP for Leyton etc was closed by the central party which aided his coup (whilst his predecessor was at his mother's funeral) which imposed an all woman shortlist.

Last I heard he was buggering off somewhere else where there's a seat up for grabs.

On the policy - the worst thing is I'm pretty sure its supported by most people... so brainswashed are the masses...

Anonymous said...

Now I've consumed my New Year personal quota of around 27,000 units of alcohol, I'm looking forward to my fourth trip to the US.

I intend to eat lots of fast food again while I'm over there. You can't walk for more than a few minutes even in a small town without coming across a Taco Bell or a Hardy's.

Presumably, according to this government's advice, I must be already dead. Based on my lifestyle, anyway.

Shit - I hope that they don't read this. Otherwise their next official campaign will be against "Skinny undead people who died from eating too many burgers and were then raised from the dead by voodoo, but who have miraculously retained the ability to type on a keyboard". Or something.

DavidNcl said...

I'm sure from the point of view of someone who sees us as their flock or herd it makes perfect sense to control what we eat.

It does rather reveal the mindset of our "leaders" doesn't it?

Dr Evil said...

Last time I had junk food meal at Burger King it was delicious! That's why youngsters eat junk food so regularly. Coz it tastes nice. When I was a lad my mother always sent me out to school with a bacon and egg breakfast as she reckoned that you can't study without a good breakfast. I walked to school, walked home (about a mile each way) pretty much every day, played rugby on wednesday afternoons, in the gym twice a week and I was pretty skinny. It's all a matter of balance re calorie intake and exercise/metabolism. Behaviour changes. the school run and reduction in exercise without a change in calorie intake is the cause. The government isn't helping by targeting the wrong things. As usual the bastards and their local authority stooges want to ban, ban, ban. I'm surprised there isn't a special tax on such food. Oh, there is, it's VAT.

Anonymous said...

"Loakes is one of the worst New Labour career politicians I've come across."

And my, oh, my, but that's a pretty strong field...

"I'm sure from the point of view of someone who sees us as their flock or herd it makes perfect sense to control what we eat."

It might, but this isn't going to achieve it. Even if they closed down every fast food joint in the country, 'fast food' (i.e, unhealthy-if-eaten-to-excess food) is available in every supermarket...

Giolla said...

"to ban new fast-food outlets from opening within 400 metres of schools, parks and other places where young people gather."

I wonder what they'll do when they notice that young people also gather at fast-food outlets.

Anonymous said...

There's one particular form of obesity that the government should crack down on hard.

I mean, of course, the obesity of the state which is expanding daily, consuming all available money and resources (and extorting more with threats of violence when the available runs out).

Let's see a programme of governmental waist (or waste) reduction - and let's see it soon.

Anonymous said...

on the plus side i suppose a legal challenge from a hefty contender like mcdonalds may keep the council too busy to think up any more "bright ideas"

Ian B said...

What the fuck is going on in this country is the same as is going on everywhere (though we're often keenest on it). Blaming this one sad little councillor isn't really getting at the point.

Governing institutions the world over are adopting the aims of the general Social Reform Movement of which Social Medicine is the medical wing. These policies are in turn simply the irrationalities of 19th century nature cranks, snobby twats who pranced around their country estates in "natural clothing" extolling the virtues of the simple life and nature, vegetarians and herbal cranks and so on. It's bullshit.

There isn't an obesity crisis. It's all made up. But the SRM are extremely well organised and extremely well funded, they have control of medicine and much of science, and what they dictate is what we're going to get. They work through international channels and organisation. These policies aren't invented by councils or government.

Until we can organise to go after the "expert" bodies formulating them, ranting at the particular places that happen to impose a particular part of the social movement's policies is largely a waste of time. They're just doing as they're told.

There is no such thing as healthy food or unhealthy food. It's just food. Fat people don't die any younger than thin people, in fact old fat people live longer than old thin people. Body fat distribution is largely genetic. You can starve a fat person thin with a continuously restricted diet, but there's no evidence that this makes them any healthier. But it's nothing to do with health. It's about social preferences. It's the philosophy of temperance- being thin proves you don't "overindulge", which is sinful.

These people are mad, but are very effective. Most people believe at least some of what they say. Everyone loves to have somebody to persecute and ridicule and fat people are an excellent choice as there's an endless supply of them.

Oh, and BMI wasn't even invented by the medical profession. It was invented by Adoplphe Quetelet, a crank who trained as an astronomer, become obsessed with the Normal Distribution, and decided that the "ideal man" is he who is the perfect average in all measurable attributes. Quetelet organised the first international statistical conference and was largely responsible for modern statistics as a tool of population study and the idea that statistics could be the method by which utopian command societies would gather information on their subject populations. BMI is a nonsensical formula, based on a square law proportion to height (human bodies are volumes, not areas) which is why it penalises people the taller they get.

Words like "obesity" have been captured by the SRM. When once obesity meant somebody of immense oversize no-coach-parties-please proportions, it now means anyone who does not conform to Quetelet's "ideal average"- just as binge has been retooled to mean not a vast excess but more than the piddly few drinks approved by the SRM.

There is no crisis. Nobody wants to believe that though. Because it's fun to abuse fat people.

The Filthy Smoker said...

The fat, double-chinned bastard in the photo is Councillor Loakes, yes? This lardarse should get himself down the gym before he gives us lectures on obesity. And he can take Ed Balls and Jamie Oliver with him.

Anonymous said...

"There is no crisis. Nobody wants to believe that though. Because it's fun to abuse fat people."

And smokers. And people who drive 2mph over the limit. And those who like a bit of consensual violent porn. And....

Hell, let's just agree that NuLab believe it's fun to abuse people, shall we?

Little Black Sambo said...

"A London council is to become the first in the country to ban new fast-food outlets from opening within 400 metres of schools, parks and other places where young people gather."

Why metres?

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